EU Ambassador to The Gambia Attila Lajos said: "In this time of crisis we all must play our part and take up responsibility and so does the European Union"
The European Union is a global actor and as such, it bears a specific duty to address global threats and to fight further spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak globally, whilst protecting States with weaker health systems.
In this respect, the European Union has already pledged EUR 232 million to combat COVID-19 of which EUR 114 million through the World Health Organisation (WHO).
This will enable WHO to help scale up global preparedness for COVID-19 through building sustainable health emergency capacities. This is to ensure that action is taken to immediately assist countries to rapidly detect, diagnose, and prevent the further spread of the virus as well as ensure that activities lead towards sustainable country core capacities to prevent epidemics.
Moreover, through The EU Centres of Excellence on Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Risk Mitigation programme (CBRN CoE), DEVCO contributes 15 million EUR with specific focus on Africa. EUR 5 Million are immediately allocated to the Pasteur Institute in Dakar and its network to quickly cover Africa and countries so far not-affected with expert trainings, rapid diagnosis and epidemiological surveillance. Additionally, within 6 months, EUR 5 Million are allocated to extend the geographic scope of EU funded "MediLabSecure/ Stronglabs" projects, aiming to prevent vector-borne diseases by reinforcing an international network of laboratories and public health institutions in 22 beneficiary countries, as well as the Mediterranean and Black Sea field epidemiology training programme network to increase security in the EU neighbourhood, to cover all Africa and the whole Centres of Excellence network.
Lastly, on the vaccine front, , the EU Commission has secured an additional EUR 37.5 million for urgently needed research on COVID-19 vaccine development, treatment and diagnostics. This additional funding from the EU Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020, brings the total funding to EUR 47.5 million, to finance 17 selected projects involving 136 research teams from across the EU and beyond. They will work on developing vaccines, new treatments, diagnostic tests and medical systems aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus.
Since COVID-19 threat is global, our response must be global and at the same time adjusted to the specific situation in-country: this is exactly what the European is doing, in partnership with WHO.